Byron Duerksen's blog

Consultant to the City

I am blessed to be very busy with a business that is doing well.  Sometimes, I feel too busy.  One morning while preparing to head out on an inspection the office phone rings and it is the City of Clearlake Building Department.  After a couple of pleasantries, he asks would I be interested in being a consultant for the City performing building inspections.  Turns out I was recommended by the very woman I used to go round and round with when I was helping a friend build a house.  I can't begin to tell you how hilarious this struck me.  As anyone who has built a house and enlarged a deck will tell you the Building Department is "the enemy."  My personal opinion was the building inspectors are a joke.  If they like you they ride up to the curb and ask you to bring them the permit  so they can sign off and go golfing or have coffee with their friends or visit a mistress, unbeknown to the little woman.  In the past, I had spent many hours in the City Building Department arguing and frustrated.  Come to think of it, with the County too.

Turns out there are a couple of new people in charge and their former building inspectors have been "let go" and there is a new vision for the department.  One of responsible inspections, adherence and respect for the rules, and to the extent possible, developing a civil relationship with the contractors.

My first objection was that I certainly would not give up my businesss.  Turns out that would not be necessary as this wasn't a full time job.  So, with a day here and four hours there, I have suddenly become the only person qualified and authorized to inspect buildings in Clearlake.  I was given a City vehicle and a City credit card and to my own surprise I actually enjoy it.  Six weeks in, I could already fill a book with stories as the saying goes "you wouldn't believe" but for the time being this is a good thing.

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